Thursday’s latest negotiation session between MLB officials and the players union — to end the lockout that began Dec. 2 — lasted just 15 minutes.
On Friday, MLB officially postponed all spring training games through March 5. As it stands now, the regular season — which was scheduled to begin March 31 — will be delayed if there’s no deal by Feb. 28. According to ESPN, the sides will begin daily negotiations on Monday.
At 79 days, the current standoff represents the second-longest of the nine work stoppages in MLB history. Here are the key issues where the chasm remains.
- In its latest proposal, the MLBPA lowered its request for early arbitration from 100% of players with two years’ service time to 80%.
- 22% of second-year players enter arbitration currently.
- The union also requested an increase in the pre-arbitration bonus pool for the top 150 players, from $100M to $115M.
- Other key issues still need to be addressed: revenue sharing, service-time manipulation, expanded postseason, luxury-tax thresholds, minimum salary, and the universal DH.
With the implausibility of a resolution in the next 10 days, the season will almost surely be shortened — at which point we might have to contemplate a lost season.
The longest stoppage ran 232 days from Aug. 12, 1994 to March 31, 1995 — and canceled the 1994 World Series.